It may take a village to raise a child, but it also takes a dedicated and motivated team to build a village. Dovetail Properties, an established property business development company based in Gauteng, believes that what you do today creates tomorrow. Their focus is on projects that empower, uplift and educate communities. It is in this spirit that they embarked on the development of Nkosi City in Daantjie, Mpumalanga. 

Upliftment philosophy 

Dovetail’s purpose is to advance partnerships, entering joint ventures with the community, who have an equal share in the development. They provide development capital and know-how for these communities. 

The Nkosi City journey began in July 2011 through all the reports, studies and plans required to effect registration of the development with Infrastructure South Africa, which took place in October 2022.  

It takes a village: formal partnerships 

Nkosi City impacts on 123 000 households (approximately 600 000 people) and is developed in an equal partnership between the Nkosi City Communal Property Association and Dovetail Properties, assisted by the National Government, Mpumalanga Provincial Government and the City of Mbombela. 

Additional approval and support were provided by the City of Mbombela, Department of Health and Social Development, Mpumalanga Department of Education, Mpumalanga Provincial Cabinet and the Provincial Department of COGTA. 

Total development cost R8,3 billion 
Government land parcels development cost R4,4 billion 
Infrastructure cost R1,2 billion 
Private land parcels development cost R2,7 billion 

Nkosi City AgriVillage a unique plan 

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the development is that of the urban farm concept. This combines Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) housing with farm portions totalling 240 Ha, which are designated for intensive agriculture. 

Treated as a security residential farm estate with security and safety foremost in mind, the plan is aimed at job creation for the occupants of the RDP homes and food security for the wider community. Larger parcels of land mean there are less streets and infrastructure needs. Through offtake agreements from major supermarket groups and agricultural specialist training, the development aims to uplift and create change for the residents. There is also a Hemp farming initiative which may kick off during the next few months.

AgriVillage by the numbers 

Total estimated cost of infrastructure R67 760 000 
Total estimated cost of equipment and machinery R18 585 950 
Combined cost for AgriVillage R86 345 950 

Expected income: 

Projected Production Income (PPI) 
 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 
Revenue R91,240,000.00 R100,364,000.00 R110,400,400.00 R302,004,400.00 
Input costs R47,097,540.82 R51,807,294.91 R56,988,024.40 R155,892,860.13 
Gross margin R44,142,459.18 R48,556,705.09 R53,412,375.60 R146,111,539.87 
*Figures based on anticipated PPI and CPI – an average of 10% has been used 

Expected Employment: 

Job creation model 
Nkosi City AgriVillage  
Total size (ha) ≥240  
Number of workers/ha  
Farming Activities   
Jobs per block 32 Permanent 
Total jobs 920 Permanent 
Casual jobs per block Casual 
Total casual jobs 58 Casual 
Packhouse 20 Permanent 
Supply store Permanent 
Fresh produce market/farm stall 10 Permanent 
Workshop/technicians/drivers 20 Permanent 
Nursery 15 Permanent 
Total number of jobs 1048  

Going beyond RDP into an economically diverse agri-city 

Planned in six phases, the Nkosi City development goes beyond just providing housing and the farm concept. It envisages the transformation of this rural community into an economically diverse and fully integrated agri-city. The proposed components of this project include the provision of: 

  • Residential housing: Over 5000 RDP homes, apartments, bonded housing and urban farms. 
  • Education:  Pre-schools, a primary and secondary school, a TVET College, agricultural training centres and the Nkosi City Training Centre. 
  • Provincial hospital and clinic. 
  • Veterinary services: Welfare, education, conservation, research and rehabilitation. 
  • Institutional and commercial offices, including mixed-use buildings (ground floor commercial and upstairs residential). 
  • Services: Police station, fire and emergency services, Post Office etc. 
  • Retail space: Regional retail centre, a value centre, fresh produce market, entertainment and restaurants, filling stations and a central business district. 
  • Tourism opportunities: Hotel or lodge, other hospitality and B&B facilities within Nkosi City. 
  • Light industrial node: Agricultural process and packing plants, secondary co-operative, mini factories and warehousing. 

Issue: Developing human settlements that uplift under-privileged communities. 
Solution: Generate considerable funds through a joint venture with the community, create job opportunities at scale, and initiate education and skills programmes as part of the development. 

All these planned components of the development will also require transport nodes, i.e., a bus terminus and taxi rank, together with the full gamut of infrastructure to be developed. 

Additional thought was given to what a community needs to thrive – thus sports facilities at schools and a larger stadium are proposed, together with a host of community facilities from churches to a public swimming pool, orphanages, a library, a cemetery, parks and recreational areas, including a dam with a picnic area. 

For more information, contact Dovetail Properties:
Tel: +27 11 468 2805

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